Feminists hate men

Pauline Harmange: "Hatred of men is a form of liberation Hostility "

The radical feminist author Pauline Harmange is open to her hatred of men. In the interview, she talks about the social vision associated with it.

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When Pauline Harmange published her essay "I hate men" (in the original: "Moi, les hommes, je les déteste") - in an edition of only 400 copies in a French small publisher, the 25-year-old blogger and author expected that only other feminist activists would be interested. But then Ralph Zurmély, an advisor to the French Ministry of Equality, became aware of the text - and threatened publicly with charges of "inciting hatred". Although the ministry quickly distanced itself, a broad public learned of Harmange's manifesto. For the author, this meant a tirade of insults and threats via social networks, but also the attention of international publishers. Your book will now be translated into ten languages, and it will be published in German by Rowohlt. The 25-year-old can now laugh at Zurmély's threat, "because it underscores my thesis so nicely," she says on the phone.

ZEIT Campus ONLINE: Feminists around the world rightly defend themselves against all forms of misogyny and misogyny. Now you stand up for hatred of men. Fighting hate with hate - can that be a good idea?

Pauline Harmange: Well, hatred of men and hatred of women are not the same. Behind misogyny, i.e. misogyny, there is a system that is extremely hurtful and violent in many different ways. Misandry, on the other hand, is a way for us women to protect ourselves from violent behavior by men and to defend ourselves against it. It's a backlash. Because there would be no need at all not to like or hate men if misogyny did not exist systematically. Men are simply a threat to our lives in many ways.

ZEIT Campus ONLINE: But does that justify a general hatred of men, of all men?

Harmange: For me and many other feminists, men are a social class. So the phrase "I hate men" means that I hate the men's social group because of all the privileges they enjoy. I want to tell everyone that it is okay and important to get tired of this group. Misandry is a liberating form of hostility that encompasses a wide range of feelings and needs: it can mean denouncing men's behavior and violence towards women. But it can also have personal consequences, such as the decision to no longer meet with men or to no longer trust them. All of these things are okay and legitimate.

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ZEIT Campus ONLINE: Isn't it more important to differentiate which men and which behaviors are problematic?

Harmange: If we always take the time and make the effort to differentiate exactly which men are good and which are bad, we will lose a large part of our feminist energy, which we need in the fight against patriarchy. The "not all men" argument is simply not strong enough in response to the systematic oppression women experience from men. When we feminists say that we all hate men, that doesn't mean we don't make any distinctions.

ZEIT Campus ONLINE: What differences do you mean?

Harmange: The system of misogyny has to be thought of as a pyramid. Upstairs are a couple of extremely violent men. This includes a large number of men who can be good, for example the woman they love. But that does not mean that they are not located in a misogynous system and do not otherwise contribute to maintaining it. For example, by making sexist slogans or talking disparagingly about women with their friends.

ZEIT Campus ONLINE: You are married to a man yourself and be friends with men. How do you deal with this contradiction of actually hating all men, but loving one and calling a few other friends?

Harmange: That is not a contradiction. I can only be married to a man because we have grown together as human beings and have also grown together. I live in a relationship that allows me to be who I want to be. But yes, it was tiring becoming a feminist and sort of taking my husband with you in the process. I don't know if I could do that again with another man, I just wouldn't have the energy for that. My husband and my male friends know what I mean when I say "I hate men or"men are trash". They also understand that ideals of masculinity are not good for themselves and society. Just because men are rejected as a social group does not mean that they cannot cultivate very good individual relationships with individuals. But the prerequisite for this is that you have men in front of you who are willing to listen and understand.